Jeff Ryan Receives Montana Watershed Stewardship Award
HELENA, MT, May 13 – You can trace Jeff Ryan’s path across Montana by following the newly planted willows – and the everyday people singing his praises for making rivers more resilient to flooding with restoration projects that incorporate living plants to benefit everyone involved.
“Jeff has helped pioneer the inclusion of living materials in riverbank restoration projects in the state,” said Chris Evans, LCCD administrator. “Time and time again, he has worked to bring common sense and respect for the resource back to the conversation through his open-mindedness in listening to people talk about their projects.”
In recognition of his dedication and innovative approaches to watershed health, the Montana Watershed Coordination Council (MWCC) has selected Jeff as a 2021 Watershed Stewardship Award recipient. The biennial Wetland and Watershed Stewardship Awards are a joint project of MWCC and the Montana Wetland Council (MWC) to honor individuals and groups who embody excellence and commitment to wetland or watershed conservation, protection, and restoration. Award recipients will be honored at a ceremony during the Fall Watershed Tour to be co-hosted by MWCC and local conservation partners September 15-17, 2021 along the Rocky Mountain Front.
Jeff’s numerous accomplishments include:
- Advising and helping to develop dozens of restoration projects on the Beaverhead, Missouri, Musselshell, and Sun River Watersheds, as well Pumpkin Creek at Zoo Montana near Billings and multiple projects within Lewis and Clark County: on Little Prickly Pear, Prickly Pear, Sevenmile, Ten Mile, and Spokane Creeks.
- Working with the Missouri River and Yellowstone River Conservation Districts Councils to create the Living on the Bank project, a resource for landowners who are living – or considering living – along a stream or river.
- A 26-year career with the Montana Department of Transportation and Department of Environmental Quality, where he learned the ins and outs of stream permitting that he now applies to his second career.
Learn more about the Lewis and Clark Conservation District, including many of the programs Jeff has helped to develop, through their website.
The 2021 Wetland and Watershed Stewardship Awards are made possible by funding from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.
A project along the Bitterroot River that Jeff worked on with the Bitterroot Conservation District. Photos from before, immediately after, and two years later: